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Thread: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

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    Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    31035.1
    All,
    Just got word from the shop doing the TP/WP on the Integrale. They noticed that the balance shaft belt is not currently installed. Wondering what the advantages/disadvantages are for leaving this off.


    I'm guessing that the reason for leaving it off is one less power draw, but at what cost?


    Anyone have good information on this? I purchased a belt and plan to have them install it unless there are really good reasons to leave it off.
    Any recommendations from the Lancia wizards out there?

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    Thumbs down Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    I think you lose a lot of the smoothness by not having it, not had a integrale, but I had 5 Dedra with it fitted and they had a lovely smooth engine.
    Not sure of why it was removed, but I'd prefer to stick with what lancia designed and thought necessary.
    Always amazes me how people think they can improve the original design of something, yes some can, but I haven't heard of this previously.
    Brian

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    Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    Lancia fully engineered these cars; deviate from factory spec only if you know what you're doing and why -- which doesn't seem to the case here. I'd put the belt back on.
    Ed Levin
    Fulvia 1,6 HF

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    Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    The balancer smooths the engine. Without it the car tingles as you can feel the vibrations. I prefer with, but no harm in removing. The reason to remove is a slight performance increase but mainly to provide more room to fit wider pulleys and cam belt as the standard belt is a marginal width given the lack of space.

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    Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    As others have intimated, you need the belt. Without it the balance shaft is not being driven and the out of balance forces or 'tinging' are going to become a problem in terms of loads- engine wear and component failures. Agreed there is a parasitic drag factor to consider but in the scheme of things it is insignificant.

    Quote Originally Posted by RicardoF1RST View Post
    The balancer smooths the engine. Without it the car tingles as you can feel the vibrations. I prefer with, but no harm in removing. The reason to remove is a slight performance increase but mainly to provide more room to fit wider pulleys and cam belt as the standard belt is a marginal width given the lack of space.

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    Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    I prefer with the balancer, but its more of a comfort thing than a mechanical necessity. Don't confuse them with harmonic balancers (for the crank). It's also better to lock the shafts in place rather than have them spin freely. Consensus is also to leave the shafts in, rather than remove them because of the change in the oil path if they are not there.

    The main reason people remove it, as I mentioned, is to allow the fitment of a wider (and stronger) cam belt with wider pulleys. The stock cam belt width is a bit of an integrale achilles heal and requires regular replacement and the pain (literally or financially) that causes. With a wider belt you get longer service intervals. Some owners say there is no difference, but there is a subtle difference in feel, they just make the engine smoother.

    See http://www.guy-croft.com/viewtopic.php?t=2275

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    Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    In a race engine where "only" maximum power matters, removing the balance belt and fixing the shafts in place makes some sense. In a street use, the few horsepower gained, at the price of increased vibration and harshness, doesn't seem worthwhile.

    And unless you are racing, the stock cam belt seems to work just fine. Is anyone putting enough miles on their Delta to worry about following the factory periodic belt change interval bc of miles and not bc of time?

    We all like to think we are smart about modifications (well, *I* like to think i am smart!) - but I doubt Lancia spent the time invent & study the system, and then redo their casting, and then the cost of installing the balance system, for no good reason.

    I've driven a lot of Fiat twincams, and the smoothness of the Delta engine is an enormous improvement - such that I would like to find a counterbalanced block for my Fiat 124!

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    Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    As I said (twice) the main reason people remove the tensioner belt is to allow the fitment of a wider cam belt and pulleys. There was a recall on the 16v when they first came out to have a wider belt and pulleys fitted (hence there are two options for replacement belts). By now all 16v engines should be running the wider option, but some feel the wider belt isn't wide enough and hence remove their balancer belts to make room. Lancia altered the service requirements for the belts on a couple of occasions, causing confusion and debate. Plus, over time, aftermarket belt quality is maybe not what it was. The OE belt width was a compromise because of a lack of room. Lancia chose to strike a balance (pardon the pun) towards smoothness.

    "Racing engines" may have to keep the balancers if they require homologation. If not then its an easy few horse power to remove them.

    I also prefer the smoother engine, and hence still have a balancer belt and standard cam belt. But I know someone with an Evo who swears he can't feel any vibrations without the balancer (I can), so he is happy without.

    Guy Croft's theory is more to do with less spinning stuff that can fail and snap a cam belt the better. But that is from a racing perspective.

    The original question was wether to keep the balancer or not, I have tried to explain thats its a personal choice thing.

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    Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    To quote Barry Waterhouse (RIP):
    "I'm convinced that the reason that the balancer shafts were there in the first place is that the block could then be homologated in much stronger form and the balancer shafts could be used as a 'technically advanced' selling point."

    That would be very typical of Abarth & Lancia.

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    Re: Balance shaft belt - to keep or not

    I'm of the camp that can't believe Lancia would have spent the engineering time and added production costs unless they were convinced the balance shafts were a worthwhile improvement -- at least for production street use. That would be typical of Lancia -- not pointless engineering features for marketing purposes.
    Ed Levin
    Fulvia 1,6 HF

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